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Syrrx, Expression Pathology, University of Louisville, Tm Bioscience, Rheogene, Biolog, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Qiagen, Pharmacopeia


Syrrx Gets $2M ATP Grant

Syrrx announced this week that it has received an Advanced Technology Program grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop nanoscale arrays for improving the crystallization of membrane proteins.

The grant is for $2 million over three years, according to the ATP website.

The technology that the San Diego-based company hopes to develop with the grant money involves using a regularly-repeating nanoscale pattern to induce crystallization. The company plans to conduct over 100,000 experiments and will subcontract Santa Clara, Calif.-based Parallel Synthesis Technologies to engineer the nanoscale surfaces.

The new technology could reduce drug development time and costs, according to Syrrx.

Expression Pathology Closes $300,000 Funding Round

Gaithersburg, Md.-based start-up Expression Pathology this week announced the closing of a $300,000 funding round.

The funds came from early stage angel investors, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, and a Maryland Technology Transfer Fund from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation.

Expression Pathology is developing liquid tissue protein arrays from archived tissue banks using laser microdissection techniques and a process that converts tissue into a liquid format suitable for printing arrays, according to the company.

University of Louisville Diagnostic Lab to Use Tm Bioscience’s Drug Metabolism Test

Toronto’s Tm Bioscience will supply the Pharmacogenetics Diagnostic Laboratory of the University of Louisville Medical School with a genetic test for a metabolism gene, the company said last week.

Under the two-year agreement, the laboratory will use Tm Bioscience’s Tag-It P450-2D6 mutation detection kit, which tests for mutations in the P450-2D6 gene that are common in patients with atypical drug metabolism.

Upstate to License RheoGene’s Gene Regulation Technology

Rheogene, of Norristown, Pa., said last week that it has granted a nonexclusive license to Upstate USA, of Charlottesville, Va., to develop research test kits based on RheoGene’s inducible gene regulation system.

Under the terms of the agreement, Upstate will use RheoGene’s Rheoswitch system in combination with Upstate’s RNAi and antibody research kits. Upstate also obtains a nonexclusive license to RheoGene’s RheoPlex multiple gene regulation technology, the company said.

Financial terms of the deal were not provided.

LBNL Genomics Program Begins Using Biolog Phenotype Microarrays

Biolog’s new Phenotype MicroArray technology has been installed and is being used at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as part of LBNL’s Genomes to Life project, the company said last week.

LBNL researchers will use the technology to understand and characterize phenotypes of bacterial strains, particularly Desulfovibrio vulgaris. The phenotypic data will be compared with comparative genomic and microarray experiments at LBNL in order to rapidly deduce stress response pathways in metal and radionuclide bacteria.

According to Biolog, of Hayward, Calif., the Phenotype MicroArrays technology allows scientists to simultaneously test hundred to thousands of traits in bacterial and fungal cells to determine changes in gene expression and the effects of drugs. The company is developing similar arrays using mammalian cell lines.

Revenues and Earnings Up for Qiagen in Q1

Qiagen this week reported increased revenues and slightly higher earnings for the first quarter of 2004.

The company booked $96.1 million in revenues in the quarter, up from $79.6 million during the same quarter last year. Almost 80 percent of revenues resulted from consumables, and about 10 percent each from instruments and oligos.

Research and development costs climbed to $9.4 million, from $7.5 million during the same quarter in 2003.

As of March 31, Qiagen had $108.8 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Pharmacopeia Completes Spin-Off of PDD

Pharmacopeia has completed the spin-off of Pharmacopeia Drug Discovery, the company said last week. Pharmacopeia and PDD will trade as separate companies on Nasdaq under the ticker symbols "ACCL" and "PCOP", respectively.


The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.